Editor’s Note: The Call of Duty: Modern Warfare II game is probably one of the most anticipated shooter titles to be released in years. And while many people will play both the single player campaign and the multiplayer battles, there are those who strongly like just one or the other. Because of this, we are splitting our review up into two parts: multiplayer and the single player campaign. Up first, fresh from the front is Michael Blaker and his take on all things Call of Duty: Modern Warfare II multiplayer. The following is his report.
Hey all, I’m back with a big-time game this time around. It’s Call of Duty: Modern Warfare II!
First, I should get this out of the way at the start. I’ve been asked to mainly cover the multiplayer aspects of this game, which are incredibly extensive. Neal Sayatovich will be focusing on the single player side of the new COD game in just a bit. I will say that I have gone through the entire single player campaign too, and it was one wild ride. But I will let Neal tell you all about that very soon. For now, let’s dive into the multiplayer aspects of Call of Duty: Modern Warfare II.
Gameplay: This is the first Call of Duty I’ve played in well over a decade, and that includes the multiplayer portion as well. In fact, the last COD title I played online was Call of Duty: Black Ops, which was when the original title released in 2010. So, I was frankly shocked when I first loaded up the beta back in September and not only found the multiplayer to be so engaging, but clearly much better than what I remembered of the original Modern Warfare 2 (the 2009 version).
It’s easy to see why the beta broke so many records when you understand the quality of the multiplayer experience. I was happy not to get constantly ganked by a team of enemy players running around stupidly with two double barreled shotguns, one in each hand. Instead, the new COD multiplayer gameplay is much slower paced. I think it’s a good thing, especially since I’m not usually a multiplayer kind of person.
I generally hate playing competitive team deathmatch or objective Player vs Player type multiplayer, but I’ve logged in every single day since Call of Duty: Modern Warfare II launched and played for multiple hours at a time. Never once did I get frustrated to the point of quitting. Sure, I sometimes have a really bad match where my K/D ratio is below .50, but I generally have been pulling out at least even with a 1.0, and occasionally I’ll do really well and get a hilariously high number like the one I had today where my K/D ratio was over 20.0, which is ridiculous since I generally don’t do well in Deathmatch.
I’ve played every game type available in the new game, from the standard Team Death Match to the really big team battle objective mode called Ground War. But if you ask me, Call of Duty: Modern Warfare II really shines in Invasion mode, which takes teams of 20 players on each side and tosses in an additional 20 AI controlled units on each of those sides. It puts them all together on a very large map to fight it out.
If players aren’t paying attention, they can and will die to those AI units, which can suck if you’re really close to gaining a Killstreak. Infinity Ward made the smart decision to not allow those AI units to count towards gaining a Killstreak, and you can and will miss them on the Minimap, which can lead to some amusing things like being shot in the back by an RPG-toting AI unit.
Then there’s the weapon unlocking mechanic, which is interesting. You can unlock a good variety of weapons just by leveling up your rank like usual. But if you focus on leveling up a weapon, you can also potentially unlock further weapons to use. For example, the basic M4 Rifle leads to two separate guns, both of which unlock another gun if you level that one up. As you go through the weapon trees, you’ll be able to equip unlocked attachments that you gained from previous weapons in the same tree.
Art: The art is great, and honestly the game comes alive during Multiplayer with all the various effects from explosions and gunfire in the larger modes like Invasion or Ground War. This is especially evident using a next generation console like the PlayStation 5. My one singular complaint is that there’s currently a bug where I can’t change my cosmetic lobby character, called an Operator, nor can I change my player emblem away from the default one for some odd reason.
Music: The music is not very much of a factor in Multiplayer, but it was awesome in the campaign, and I do recommend that anyone who wants to play Multiplayer go through the settings menus to disable the voice chat. Not having to listen to pre-teen players raging against you for shooting them through a thin wall with armor piercing rounds is a thing almost anyone will enjoy. I remember how bad Call of Duty voice chat could get from the original Modern Warfare 2. The fact that I can turn it off and never have to deal with it is a large reason I gave the music a high score.
Overall: There’s a lot of fun to be had playing this latest Call of Duty in Multiplayer. The depth can even be a bit overwhelming, but you do start off with a basic set of weapons you can use from the get-go like a rocket launcher to deal with airborne Killstreaks or vehicles, or a basic Sniper Rifle to fight against enemies who like to stay at long range.
For those who like: Multiplayer, balanced gameplay, very solid gunplay and physics, and beautiful and exciting environments to fight over.
Not for those who don’t like: Any of the above, or not being able to run around with two double barreled shotguns cheat-killing other players.